Residential Care home

Residential Care Home: An Assisted Living Alternative

For older adults who need care, assisted living communities aren’t the only housing option. Another option is a residential care home.

I’ll explain the type of care you can expect to receive in a residential care home, how much they cost each month, and who might enjoy living in this type of housing option.

Personal care in a home-like setting

Residential care homes are also known as board and care homes or personal care homes. They provide care to small groups of older adults and the majority of them in California have 6 or fewer residents.

They are typically located in the middle of regular residential neighborhoods as they are typically private homes that were converted and are staffed for small group living.

What kind of care is provided in residential care homes?

You can expect the level of care here to be higher than assisted living, but lower than the level of care in a skilled nursing facility (nursing home).

The biggest difference is that there is more personalized care because the home has fewer residents and there is a lower resident to staff ratio. Each home may offer different services. Some will provide a high level of care while others will only focus on the basics.

Residential care homes typically offer:

  • A single or double room (not an apartment)
  • Shared bathroom
  • Meals
  • Housekeeping
  • Personal care

Most will typically provide supervision and assistance with activities of daily living like:

  • Bathing
  • Dressing / grooming
  • Moving around
  • Storing and distributing medication (but not administering it)
  • Toileting and incontinence care

Some may also provide some level of medical services like giving medication and transportation.

What’s typically not covered?

There are certain types of medical-level care that is not included such as:

  • Tube feeding
  • Treatment of open bedsores
  • The level of amenities and recreational activities that you’d likely find in an assisted living community

How much does it cost?

In our area, the cost of a residential care home typically costs between $3,000 – $3,800 per month depending on if it’s a shared room or a private bedroom. Costs will also depend on the level of care needed as well as the location and quality of the home.

Residential care homes usually do not accept Medicare of Medicaid. However, they do accept private payment, VA Aid & Attendance and long-term care insurance.

Who would enjoy living in a residential care home?

  1. Seniors who do not like the larger, institutional-like setting found in most assisted living communities. In a residential care home, older adults can live as normal a life as they’re able such as going shopping, having friends and family over, and going for walks.
  2. Seniors with Alzheimer’s or dementia. In many cases, living in a smaller setting with fewer people can reduce anxiety and stress.

Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any specific questions about residential care facilities or if you need help with living options for your loved one.

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